Improving the Quality of Statistics in Belize

Dec 2014
In modern public management the use of statistics for decision making is essential. Evidence-based policy, as well as results-based public management, cannot operate effectively without reliable and timely data. Likewise, without more specialized, quality statistics, the achievement of development objectives cannot be appropriately monitored, or the effectiveness of development plans evaluated. In the specific context of Belize, the importance of a well-functioning statistical system is essential to the process of economic and social development of the country. Yet, according to the evidence collected, the country is characterized by the absence of a statistical system; as such, the agencies that produce data based on administrative registries and surveys usually do their work independently; there is no regulation that governs statistical production in any institution outside the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB); and there is no common set of classifiers, norms, and definitions based on good practices that meet international standards. Since the SIB does not audit and regulate the production of data in the country, statistical production is disintegrated and there is room for improvement in timeliness and quality. Moreover, Belize's National Statistical System (NSS) does not have any effective mechanism to reach users. To improve this situation, this technical note recommends strengthening the SIB's capacity to produce basic statistics and increasing the country's use of statistics through the implementation of a national statistics strategy in Belize with the SIB in the role as the coordinating agency. This will help to strengthen the entire statistical system.